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Is there any formal work attempting to measure ease of maintenance for complex programs, comparing at the programming language level? Are there any formal measures for ease of maintenance, at any level?

I'm looking for a method to obtain formal measurements of ease of maintenance (or any related work) for a pet project.

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Cyclomatic complexity, perhaps. CC and "ease of maintenance" are inversely related; the more complex code is, the less easy it is to maintain. –  Robert Harvey Sep 17 '11 at 5:19
    
I saw a link on reddit earlier this summer pointing to a paper showing that of all complexity measures, the one that had the strongest correlation to the number of bugs was lines of code. Other more complex measures were not good indicators of number of bugs. A shame I can't find the paper again, but I'll keep looking. –  Joh Sep 17 '11 at 8:01
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I found the paper again: citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/summary?doi=10.1.1.20.2141 –  Joh Sep 26 '11 at 18:11

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There appears to be some work on it in the form of analysis of Domain Specific Languages, the paper is rather old. Also some more work on C/C++. From a brief scan-through of each paper, it doesn't appear that there's a definite answer but it is being worked on.

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Disheartening :( –  blueberryfields Nov 25 '11 at 4:02

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